What the nearly $16 trillion travel economy means for your future vacation

Anyone who has traveled this summer can tell you that the tourism industry is exploding with packed flights, soaring hotel rates and cruise ships buzzing with passengers.

Tourism is a bright spot even in China, which is facing economic turmoil at the moment.

Such demand is expected to increase in the coming years. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that the tourism economy will grow to a $15.5 trillion industry by 2033. WTTC’s Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2023 Report.

That means an estimated 24 million new travel and tourism-related jobs will be added to the sector over the next decade.

However, it’s not all good news.

„Despite all of this, the coming year will not be without its challenges. Inflation, economic uncertainty, labor shortages and the climate crisis will be limiting factors,” WTTC President and CEO Julia Simpson noted in the statement. „And as travel returns to pre-Covid-19 peaks, some businesses are struggling to keep up with demand. Globally, stronger efforts are needed to increase efficiency and connectivity, as well as action from both industry and governments to address workforce issues.”

The level of tourism and the high cost of travel

The largest travel economies are not new faces: the US, China, Germany, the UK and Japan round out the top five, respectively. But China is expected to overtake the U.S. in terms of travel economies of scale in the next decade, Simpson said Bloomberg said this week.

It’s unlikely to mean much in terms of your next vacation. However, increasing demand only increases hotel rates and airfares.

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Global leisure travel spending is expected to grow from about $4 trillion last year to nearly $8 trillion in 2033.

High interest rates around the world are not as conducive to building new hotels as they were a few years ago. That means hotel supply there today is expected to remain the same for the next few years in markets like the US, so CEOs at companies like Hilton expect to raise rates if there isn’t enough supply. Meet passenger needs.

Bargains are still out there

Just because hotel supply isn’t keeping up with growing demand doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find discounted vacations in the next decade, especially in the near term.

A presentation by hotel data provider STR at its recent hotel data conference in Nashville noted that hotels in Germany, Thailand, Malaysia and Japan have yet to return to pre-pandemic performance levels. This may offer an opportunity for better hotel rates, as owners want to attract guests.

There are even opportunities for deals here in the U.S. There are signs of a flat summer in terms of hotel performance, too This is due to Americans moving abroad. But travelers from foreign countries are also less.

In the same STR presentation, there were 1 million fewer international visitors to the U.S. each month this summer compared to 2019, while 200,000 more Americans traveled abroad each month than before the pandemic.

Also, Expedia lists several fall travel deals there. Offseason travel is not a new concept for bargain hunters, but given the increase in demand during peak travel periods such as summer, it’s something to consider even more in the coming years.

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Expedia reports that airfares to cities like Denver, Chicago, Tokyo and Florence, Italy are down 20% compared to summer prices. coastal destinations such as the Outer Banks of North Carolina; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Panama City Beach and Panama City Beach, Florida have Vrbo vacation rentals for 25% off summer rates.

Remember: Seasonal travel options aren’t for everyone, especially families who plan vacations around school schedules.

An Expedia report notes that 70% of dual-income, childless couples — sometimes called „dinks” — travel in the fall, when occupancy rates are lower in popular cities like London, Paris and New York City.

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